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PM visits Canberra for annual bilateral meeting

1 March 2004 Media Statement

PM visits Canberra for annual bilateral meeting

Prime Minister Helen Clark departs for Canberra tomorrow for her annual bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, to be held on Wednesday morning.

“The annual meeting gives Australia and New Zealand the chance to review a range of international and regional issues, and maintains the strength of a very healthy bilateral relationship,” Helen Clark said.

“Our deepening involvement in the Pacific and the review of the Pacific Islands Forum will be key discussion topics. The Forum review, mandated by leaders at the Auckland Forum last August, is shaping up well. I am discussing with John Howard and other Forum leaders how we can best take this forward.

“Trade issues will also be central to the meeting. Australia and New Zealand are keen to see the recommencement of the Doha Development Round at the WTO.

“Australia chaired a reinvigorated Cairns Group meeting in Costa Rica last week, attended by New Zealand’s Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton. We look forward to continuing our work with Australia and other agricultural trading nations to achieve our goals in agricultural trade.”

In addition to her meeting with Mr Howard, Helen Clark will meet with members of the Australian Cabinet and be hosted at an official luncheon. She will lay wreaths at the Australian War Memorial and the New Zealand Memorial on ANZAC Parade.

While in Canberra, Helen Clark will also meet with Australia’s Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham.


ENDS

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